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Numbers refer to a line drawing of this painting in Groger-Wurm, 1973, p. 123
Djirird and Damala
Plate 190 [i.e. 1985.0132.0074]: two wongar men, the Kingfisher (?),Djirird , and the Eagle Hawk, Damala , made preparation for a fishing trip. In the meantime, the little son of Djirird  went to the beach looking for sandcrabs  in their holes  and caught some fish . As soon as he returned home he put them in the fire pit , cooked them and started eating all by himself. When his father and his grandfather (mother's father) asked him for some of the fish he replied that there was not enough and kept on eating until he had finished all of them.
When the two men had finished their preparations they set out in their canoe. While fishing they saw a pied heron standing on a rock in the water  catching fish. Eventually they returned to the camp and cooked the catch in the fire pit . When the little boy asked his father for food he was refused because he had been greedy before. At this the boy began crying in a temper and started scratching himself until suddenly feathers started to grow on his head and body and he turned into a kingfisher (?) bird . When the father saw his son flying up into the sky, he too changed into a bird  and joined him. Damala turned into a white breasted eagle hawk .
While all this was happening the wives of the two men were in the bush looking for yam [4 and 5]. When they returned to the camp they could not see anybody - it was deserted. Then they heard bird calls and, looking up, saw their husbands and the boy. So they also turned themselves into birds, Damala's wife into an emu, urban , and Djirird's wife into a crow, wag . They left their digging stick  behind.
The upper part of the painting shows a bunggul in Gawuda, the mortuary place of the Mararlba and Manggalilji mada. In the centre the two Djirird  are dancing beside the whistling trees, djumala . The figures represent mogwoi people.
The smoke which rose from the fire pit where the fish were cooking formed black rain clouds . Wind sprang up with the clouds and made the trees ?whistle?.
Damala, the Eagle Hawk, was Riradjingu mada and dua moiety. His wife, the Emu, was Manggalilji mada and jiridja moiety. Djirird was Mararlba mada, jiridja moiety, and his wife, the Crow, was Maragulu mada, dua moiety. And this is the way Aborigines still marry today (Groger-Wurm, 1973, pp. 122, 124).
A bark painting worked with ochres on bark. The central panel depicts a double anvil shape between which are images of human figures and fish. The top panel depicts two birds in the centre with on each side. The lower panel features two human figures, a canoe, trees and tools.
W 550mm x H 1510mm x D 65mm
Verified by D Kaus 22/5/2013